Things We Learned » Reserve system not there yet

Reserve system not there yet

You can see the positives of the reserve system.  That it provides horses – and, by extension, owners and trainers and riders – with extra opportunities to run, and that is obviously a good thing.

But there are still difficulties with it.  There is the uncertainty of it for starters.  The fact that we don’t have the final make-up of the field at ‘final’ declaration stage.  That we don’t have it until after the cut-off point for the introduction of reserves.  And there’s the uncertainty for connections of reserves.  Are you in or are you out?

There are frustrations with it too.  The fact that, if a horse comes out after the cut-off point, then the next reserve still doesn’t get in.  Ref Avenir D’Une Vie in the Galway Hurdle.

Then there is the betting aspect of it.  The inconsistency of it all.  The fact that some bookmakers price up the reserves, and then operate a Rule 4 deduction if the reserves don’t get in.  Others don’t price up the reserves, and bet win or come second (or third or fourth) to the reserve(s) if they do.  And the fact that the bookmakers apparently cannot agree to – or be obligated to – operate under the same rules.  The reserve system is not there yet.

Note Lily

There were 19 runners in the second division of the Naas Racecourse Handicap on Monday.  The first three home, She’s My Dream, Zathura and Rag Tatter, raced effectively from stalls 16, 19 and 18 respectively, once non-runners were taken into account.  The fifth-placed horse, Baby Power, effectively raced from stall 17.

The fourth-placed horse, Lily Lily Rose, raced from stall one.

There may not have been a draw bias on the day.  The first five home in the first division of this contest raced, respectively, from stalls two, nine, 16, three and seven.  But it is likely that, given the way the race panned out, it wasn’t an advantage to be drawn low in the second division.

Aidan Howard’s filly probably did very well to get as close as she did from the lowest draw of all.  Never far off the pace on the far side, she travelled well to the two-furlong marker, and she kicked into the lead on the far side at that point when Oisin Orr asked her to pick up.  She had ground to make up on the near-side runners, however, and, while she moved over to join them, it was always going to be difficult.

Four of the first five places were filled by horses who raced from the four highest stalls.  She was the only horse to get in among them, she had to do a lot of running on the far side from a long way out, and she raced from the lowest stall, and the first five were nicely ahead of the rest of the field.

The handicapper raised Lily Lily Rose by just 1lb to a mark of 60.  She is only three and Monday’s run was just the sixth of her life.  She has plenty of potential for further progress now, and she will be of interest wherever she runs next.

Galeola steps forward again

Galeola will also be of interest wherever she goes next.  Sheila Lavery’s filly looked very good in winning the finale at Leopardstown on Thursday.

The winning time was slow, the slowest of the evening, but that’s because Donnacha O’Brien rode a canny race on Kangaroo Valley from the front, stacking the field up all the way down the back straight.

Several members of the chasing pack raced more keenly than ideal, including Galeola herself, but Robbie Colgan was alive to the sedate pace, he allowed his filly move gradually up on the outside, not too far off the leader.  While she was unavoidably three wide going around the home turn, she was in the right position for when the inevitable sprint for home began, and she showed a really smart turn of foot to settle the race as a contest quite quickly.

John Lavery’s filly is a seriously progressive filly.   She won over Thursday’s course and distance just two months ago off a mark of 53, and she was winning a much better race off a mark of 73 on Thursday.  If the ball had hopped a little differently in the Ladies Derby at The Curragh on Irish Oaks day, she would now be a winner of her last four races.

She still has to go a fair way higher than 73 if she is to get into black type territory, but it is interesting that her trainer thought enough of her to give her an entry in the Group 3 Give Thanks Stakes at Cork next Saturday.  She is progressive enough to be fully deserving of her place in that company.

Some takeaways from Galway

  1. One Cool Poet is some horse
  2. Yorkhill has some engine
  3. Jody Townend has some attitude
  4. Lancaster House is some prospect
  5. It’s some week

Quote of the week

John Gosden: “She (Enable) will tell us.  She’s very expressive.  She’ll tell us what she wants to do.  We had a chat about it yesterday.”

© The Irish Field, 10th August 2019